Ever had your day seem to be starting out fine, just to have the brakes slammed on it?
My morning started out with an earlier than usual wake up time, because I had an appointment for an ultrasound before work. I’ve had some recent health issues that I won’t go into right now, since I don’t really have any answers yet. Anyway, I finished up my appointment, ran home to change for work, grabbed some breakfast and coffee, and dashed out the door.
I’m listening to my station – singing along with the radio, everything is good….screech! I walk into work, and first thing, had an unhappy customer at the counter, with my part-timer trying to deal with her – and not successfully!
I’m good at defusing tricky situations, and I got her calmed down, and in a better mood, by the time she walked out of the store, but it left me in a funky mood the rest of the day. In the conversation with this customer, she shows me a text message from a person that I thought I knew, that involved me. I’ll be honest with you, it hurt my feelings!
I’m in retail, but I don’t work for a commission, so I have always been able to take care of my customers with integrity – if they don’t need it, or want it, I’m not pushing it on them, just to make a sale. I have even been known to tell a customer where they can go to find exactly what they need, even if it means losing the sale. So this person that spoke of me in this woman’s text message, pretty much said I just sell stuff to people even if they don’t need it! Ouch!
So needless to say, that left me in a bad mood, and I don’t like it! When I’m at work, it’s “Show Time! ” and even though my world may be falling apart, I’ve got a smile on my face, at least most of the time!
When you make a quick judgement about someone, and it’s wrong, you risk losing their friendship, and trust, so I started analysing what was actually said, and my reaction. Maybe I misunderstood the intent of the message, maybe she really didn’t like me, even if I thought she did, or maybe it was me? BAM!
I was reacting to the situation with the wrong attitude, and I figured out why after checking my Facebook page. You know how Facebook reminds you of memories from years past? Well, it’s not always good memories they remind you of! It’s anything that happened at this point in time last year, or seven years ago.
I realized why I was in such a funk…the anniversary of my brother’s death is on Friday, and leading up to that day was hell! I used to think the people I loved needed to hang onto life no matter what, just to spare me the heartache. When you watch someone suffer, or have to be kept alive by machines and lose all dignity of the life they once lived, your attitude changes, you just want them to be at peace.
At this time seven years ago, I was going through one of my toughest weeks in a long time. My oldest brother, Danny, had a stroke, and was in a coma by the time I got to Dallas to see him. He didn’t get to the hospital soon enough after symptoms started, and after a few hours, my mother called an ambulance to have him taken to the nearest hospital in Corsicana. He was alert, and talking but they wanted to send him to the best hospital for treating stroke victims, so he was transferred to Baylor Medical Center. I didn’t get notified until he was already in Dallas, so I drove as fast as I could to get to him, but by the time I got there, he was unconscious, so I never got another chance to talk to him.
It was late, and none of my family was with him, so I stayed by his side the whole night. Since I was the only one there asking the doctors about his condition, I got nominated to be the contact person to be updated, and answer any questions. He was stable, so I went home the next day, and went to work. I would get phone calls from the doctors updating me on his condition. I was driving between Waco and Dallas every evening after work, for a few days, but it wasn’t looking good.
So imagine trying to keep a smile on your face, after just having a conversation with the doctor, telling you, they are pretty sure that your brother is brain dead.
I had that call in the middle of my work day, and had a customer come in just as I was hanging up. She barely knew me, but could tell without me turning around, that something was wrong, so she came behind the counter and gathered me into her arms. That’s the kind of customers I have!
After all of the scans showed no brain activity, I watched as they put my brother through all of the response tests, I had to see for myself, that he was gone, before I could give the okay to take him off the life support, and if there was even a glimmer of hope, we would wait. They pricked him, open his eyelids, scraped the bottoms of his feet, every test you could think of to get a reflex reaction, and nothing. My larger than life, vivacious, intelligent, witty, comical, compassionate and protective big brother was gone.
We had a family meeting, and I was so proud of my brother Jerry, and my sisters, LaVern and Dollie, because we were able to set aside our differences, and do what was right, and what we thought Danny would have wanted.
On October 20, 2010, my brother was taken off the life support, and his organs were donated to help others.
The next time you see someone having a bad day, don’t assume it’s about you, even if it feels like it, maybe it’s something else, and they’re taking it out on you. Show a little kindness, because one day it could be you needing a hug.